Television

Your Dislike of Work Is Not at All Original; or, Grace Feels Feelings about Girls Season Three

Girls is one of my favorite shows, and has been since the day I got my hand on a DVD copy of the pilot when I was a mere Hollywood intern, picking anyone’s brain who would tolerate it and begging them to send my resume to an agency. It was a pretty sexy time of life for me, desperately applying for jobs with no idea what a work ethic actually was works wonders on one’s complexion. Needless to say, when Hannah Horvath slumped her way onto my TV screen – with her mouth full of pasta, desperate aversion to anything 9-5, and unprecedented faith in her own “calling” as a writer – I fell in love. And I have remained in love, mostly, more with Lena Dunham than with Hannah Horvath, but also with the show as a whole.

I’m even down to see her naked all the time. I think her body is cute and real, okay?

But last week, my relationship with Hannah changed. Sure, my relationship with Hannah Horvath has, for some time, felt analogous to that of old boyfriends, with whom I felt compelled to tough it out or forgive certain flaws temporarily, all the while knowing we had begun our journey down the long, slow road to Breakup. But last week I did it. I acknowledged that it wasn’t working for me anymore. The way Hannah stormed out of her business meeting and yelled at her co-workers who had been nothing but nice to her infuriated me, and Lena Dunham’s “inside the episode” description of Hannah’s behavior “true” and “honest” infuriated me even more. Setting aside the fact that Hannah “quitting” her job because of it’s soul-sucking, corporate nature is sort of a repeat beat of “Free Snacks” (wherein Hannah *realizes* the corporate nature of her job, questions it, sort of quits, then sort of gets re-hired after being sort of fired?), Lena’s semi-defense of Hannah’s fundamental belief that she is better than these people who can keep a job when she can’t screamed of Entitlement to me.

More importantly though, my problem with the show is now exactly what I LOVED about it 2.5-ish years ago when I graduated from college to live with my parents and complain a lot about money without actually doing anything to make money: its fundamental problem with working. Perhaps Emily Yoshida put it best in her Grantland recap: “What is this show’s beef with work? In this episode, as in others, it is something that (a) makes your boyfriend act like a jerk, (b) stifles your true creative self, or (c) is something only the most undeserving people will be successful at. That last part might be true; the jury’s out.”

Is Jessica Williams the only one who agrees with me about this?

girlsreactions1

“Yo, this white girl is cray.”

Like, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to say “TGI-FUCK IT” and go home right now, chillax on my couch, indulge my inner creative spirit, and then get paid in a month or so once I turned out something wonderful working only 2-4 hours a day or whatever, but a) if I did that, I could not live in my beautiful apartment (WHY DOES EVERYONE WHO IS “BROKE” ON TV LIVE IN SUCH A BIG NICE APARTMENT?) b) if I hadn’t had a job for the past two years, I would never write – for work or play – because I wouldn’t have developed the work ethic and discipline to put my mind to anything for more than 2 hours at a time.

I think I may sound like my mom a little bit right now, but I am having more trouble than I have ever had sympathizing with a character who will not just suck it up and go to work.

What changed? Me? Girls? Why was this the straw that broke the camel’s back? Should we maybe all just revert to a simpler time when this show was mostly funny stuff about weird sex partners?

lena season 1 ep 4 gif

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4 thoughts on “Your Dislike of Work Is Not at All Original; or, Grace Feels Feelings about Girls Season Three

  1. Ummmm…working sucks. I am totally on board with the show re: this. However, I do have to say that Hannah’s rant at her coworkers did stand out to me as a particularly noteworthy example of misbehavior because her coworkers were actually pretty awesome people and her job actually seemed pretty cool. I still enjoy Hannah’s self-absorption and entitlement, though, because that’s the part of the show that resonates with me. I remember being in college and thinking that the point of life was to find a job that was fun and fulfilled you. But when I got into the working world, I realized that there is ALWAYS going to be something a tiny bit objectionable about being forced to be in a place at a certain time and being told to do things by someone else (this is also my problem with school, actually).

  2. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to insult other people for showing up and doing their jobs. Additionally, the only scene we were shown of Hannah attempting to “pursue her dream” after beginning her job at GQ involved her falling asleep immediately upon returning home and insisting to Adam that she needed to work three hours a night. As someone who comes home and writes on my own time at least three nights a week, I’m a) offended and b) kind of disgusted by her behavior.

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